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ROH TV REPORT
APRIL 8, 2018
LAS VEGAS, NV AT SAM’S TOWN LIVE
AIRED ON SINCLAIR AFFILIATES & ROHWRESTLING.COM
REPORT BY HARLEY R. PAGEOT, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Commentary: Ian Riccaboni, Colt Cabana
[Q1] Opening theme.
(1) SHANE TAYLOR vs. PUNISHMENT MARTINEZ
Interesting “Punishment” chant from the crowd to start in this heel vs. heel match. They began with a test of strength, which Taylor won, forcing Martinez to the mat for a two-count. They traded shoulder tackles before getting aggressive but Martinez ducked a series of punches and Taylor avoided some kicks. Taylor caught a crossbody attempt and blocked a hip toss. Taylor nailed two right hands to Martinez’s jaw and clotheslined him over the top rope. Martinez landed on his feet and blocked an apparent suicide dive attempt from Taylor. [C]
Taylor with a fallaway slam and a cannonball in the corner. Another cannonball off the apron onto Martinez on the floor. Taylor went up top but Martinez caught him with a falcon arrow for two. Martinez hit his jumping elbow in the corner and connected with some right hands of his own. Taylor blocked the chokeslam attempt with a knee, and then another. Taylor chokeslammed Martinez and hit a standing frog-splash for two. Martinez caught him with some kicks that sent Taylor to the floor and followed with a springboard flip over the ropes. South Of Heaven chokeslam in the ring for the win.
WINNER: Punishment Martinez in 9:14.
(Pageot’s Perspective: An interesting open since heel vs. heel matches are so rare in pro wrestling. This was captivating, though. The crowd was into the battle of the big men and decided to support Martinez due to his flashier offense. Taylor is 0-4 this year now but he always looks so dominant and hard-hitting that I think people forget about his last loss the second his next match begins.)
COLEMAN’S PULPIT with JAY LETHAL
Lethal started by saying he’s watched past episodes of the Pulpit and knows how this usually goes but he’s only here because ROH asked him to be and he’s not going to be insulted like the other guests. Caprice can ask two questions so he better make them good. Coleman laughed it off and acted star-struck by having Lethal on his show.
[Q2] He said he read Lethal’s Wikipedia page. Lethal lost the world title in August 2016. His goal in 2017 was to get it back. His goal in 2018 is to regain. Is that his goal in 2019 too? Lethal pointed out that Coleman knows nothing about the world title. He pointed out that Jay Briscoe was undefeated for two years before Lethal beat him for the title. He beat two people in the same night on pay-per-view. He’s been beaten and humiliated and had his head shaved and he’d do it all again because the ROH world title means you’re the best wrestler on the planet. Coleman cracked that having his head shaved was a positive since he was losing his hair anyway. He read over his research. “Says here you wrestled Ric Flair. Nobody cares about that… You wrestled Sting?” “I did.” “Nobody cares about that… Kurt Angle? That was pretty cool…” He finally found something in his notes that he liked. He started to ask about Lethal dating AJ Lee but Lethal stopped him, told him off, and stormed off. [C]
(Pageot’s Perspective: The last edition of Coleman’s Pulpit was two and a half months ago. I knew it had been a while but I didn’t realize it was that long. This was a welcome return. Coleman is really fun in these segments. He needles and antagonizes his guests in a similar way to The Miz on MizTV but the fact that Coleman is always laughing throughout and constantly defending himself by claiming that he’s just joking makes it different. The Pulpit never overstays its welcome either. I loved that he was straight-up just reading Lethal’s Wikipedia page and it was a subtle way to remind us of Lethal’s already-storied career.)
-The Addiction (Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian) were backstage. Kaz spoke to Hiromu Takahashi. At one time he was an ally. He fought alongside them. They took him under their wing and even gave him a rub. Now he’s back in Japan, blowing up, and brings a stuffed cat to the ring. The marks might think it’s funny but Kaz thinks it sucks. After he beats Takahashi he’s going to shove Darryl down his throat. Takahashi might be a time bomb but Kaz is a bomb that you can’t defuse and a gun that you can’t unload.
(2) CAPRICE COLEMAN vs. JAY LETHAL
Coleman shoved Lethal off the apron from behind as Lethal posed amidst a shower of streamers. They traded blows outside the ring. Lethal with a suplex on the floor. They fought around ringside some more with Lethal unloading with a barrage of chops. Another suplex to Coleman on the floor. Lethal tried to whip Coleman into a guard rail but he spun around the ring post and through the ropes to take out Lethal with a dropkick. He choked Lethal with a boot. They traded chops again. Lethal with an enziguiri. Coleman avoided a suicide dive. Both men finally entered the ring for the first time only for Lethal to dump Coleman again and hit his suicide dive. [C]
[Q3] Both men were in the ring out of the break. Lethal with a dropkick and a two-count. Coleman with an STO and a headlock. Lethal fought out. More chops. Coleman blocked a Lethal Injection and hit a cobra clutch into a submission move. Coleman hit a snapmare driver for two. Another chop battle in the corner. Coleman cut it off with an eye poke. Lethal avoided a dropkick and caught Coleman in a torture rack. A Lethal Injection finished it.
WINNER: Jay Lethal in 11:03.
(Pageot’s Perspective: Another interesting one in that the first half of the match took place entirely on the outside. This was Coleman’s first singles match this year and a reminder that he’s as reliable in the ring as he is on the microphone.)
-Video footage recounted Kelly Klein defeating Mandy Leon two weeks ago in the Women Of Honor Championship tournament. Klein cut a backstage promo. She said Mayu Iwatani’s list of accomplishments speak for themselves. Iwatani also appeared in a pre-taped segment with English subtitles. She was excited to participate in the tournament. Klein said she’s dominated for over two years. Nobody will stop her. Iwatani spoke about defending her titles in Japan and defeating HZK and Deonna Purrazzo in the tournament. In English she said “Kelly, kick your ass.”
-Video package on Tenille Dashwood and Sumie Sakai. Dashwod said she’s going to do everything in her power to defeat Sakai. Sakai had English subtitles as well. She always loved wrestling in Japan but coming to ROH changed her life. She started to tear up. She will win this tournament. [C]
(Pageot’s Perspective: She did. It’s really a shame that these packages didn’t air before the tournament semi-finals. Well, they may have in some regions as ROH TV premieres sometime between Friday and Monday depending on where you live. For me it’s usually Sunday afternoon so I already witnessed Sakai defeat Klein in the finals to win the Women Of Honor Championship the night before this aired. If ROH can do English subtitles like this hopefully they do so regularly going forward with Sakai as champion. She’s got a great story as the 21-year wrestling veteran and they need to take advantage of it.)
(3) MATT TAVEN vs. CHRISTOPHER DANIELS vs. CODY (w/Burnard The Business Bear)
[Q4] None of the human Kingdom, SoCal Uncensored, or Bullet Club stablemates were at ringside for this one. [C]
Taven was punched back and forth between Cody and Daniels. Daniels clotheslined him to the floor and faced off with Cody, the man who took the ROH world title from him. As they traded blows Taven caught them both with a split-leg dropkick. Taven took a back drop on the floor. Cody shook Burnard’s hand. Vertical suplex from Cody to Daniels. Cody with a suicide dive on Taven. Daniels with an Arabian moonsault on Cody. Taven accosted Daniels from behind. Taven swung at Cody with his walking stick but Cody ducked. Cody went after Taven with the staff but the referee took it away. Taven with a knee to a seated Cody. Taven dropkicked Daniels off the apron. Burnard paced at ringside with his hands behind his back. Daniels clotheslined Taven and hit an STO on Cody. Taven flew over the top rope to take out Daniels on the floor. Cody followed with a springboard splash that wiped out both men. [C]
Cody with the American deathlock on Taven. Daniels broke it with a Best Moonsault Ever on Cody. Taven broke up a pin attempt. Double crossbody took out Taven and Daniels. Burnard watched respectfully. Taven tried to use the ropes to steal a pin but Daniels kicked out. Daniels tried to use the tights for a pin but Taven escaped. Beautiful Disaster kick to Daniels. Cody dumped Taven and did Kenny Omega’s Rise Of The Terminator but Daniels cut him off. CrossRhodes on Daniels. As Cody covered, Taven hit a big frog-splash on both men and pinned Daniels.
WINNER: Matt Taven in 9:35.
(Pageot’s Perspective: Another unusual choice in an all-heel match, though the fans seemed to be into the action by itself without backing anyone in particular. This furthered both the Cody-Taven feud, which continues in a first blood match at Masters Of The Craft next weekend, and the Kingdom-SoCal feud, which picked up steam when The Kingdom stole the six-man belts at Supercard Of Honor. Nicely done in that respect.)
-Next week: it’s Frankie Kazarian vs. Hiromu Takahashi and a tag team gauntlet #1 contenders match featuring Coast 2 Coast, The Dawgs, The Kingdom, Beer City Bruiser & Brian Milonas, Motor City Machine Guns, and The Young Bucks.